Things I’ve Learnt from Implementing Backup Exec 2012 Deduplication

This week I’ve been working on changing the backup solution for a client from Symantec System Recovery + Backup Exec 2012 to Backup Exec 2012 with Deduplication.

While this sounds like it would be a simple process of installing the BE agents and disabling the SSR backups, it turns out that there is still some ticks you can employ. I’m going to go through what I have learnt during the week and hopefully it will assist others with any of these issues in the future.

Backing Up the Media Server

If you are going to backup the media server, there is a couple of things you are going to need to consider first.

  • Do NOT backup the deduplication volume
  • Do NOT backup the system state

To exclude the dedup volume, its as simple as editing the backup selection options for the server and de-select that volume.

Media Server 001

To exclude the system state, edit the backup selection options, expand Shadow Copy Components, User Data, and de-select Backup Exec Deduplication Storage. If this is the only option under Shadow Copy Components, you can de-select it at that level.

Media Server 002

After you do all of this and complete a deduplication you will receive a warning that you have backed up to a local deduplication storage device, this is only a warning, and you can ignore it as you should duplicate to tape for off site backup anyway.

Media Server Backup Warning

Backing Up Physical Servers

When backing up the physical Windows servers I have found I get the best results from configuring the snapshot to use the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Server (Windows 2003 and later), and then selecting to use the System snapshot provider. I also disabled the checkpoint restart.

Physical Backup - Advanced File Open


Virtual Servers

Unfortunately virtual servers weren’t on the schedule this time round, but that should be coming up sometime in the future and I’ll post my tips here when that happens.

In the meantime I suggest that if you are having problems with deduplication and virtual machines I suggest reaching out to the Backup Exec guys at:

@BackupExec on Twitter or #BackupExec
Symantec on Google+
Symantec Connect Fourms

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know by leaving a message or hitting me up on twitter.

Titan Solutions


About Phill McSherry
Phill McSherry has been working in the Australian IT industry for over 20 years and is the technical manager and solutions architect for managed services provider Titan Solutions -

2 Responses to Things I’ve Learnt from Implementing Backup Exec 2012 Deduplication

  1. Mike G says:

    SSR + Backup Exec gives you the ability to restore a complete server to different hardware, correct? It required the backups to disk instead of dedup, correct? Without SSR but with Simplified Disaster Recovery turned on, are you still able to restore the system to different hardware?

    • Yes you are correct, with SSR + Backup Exec you do have the ability to restore to different hardware. This is due t the functionality of SSR, not Backup Exec. SSR backs up to disk already, so either backup to disk or duplication would work, though I’m not sure you would see much benefit with deduplicaiton.

      Under Backup Exec 2012 you can remove the need to backup using SSR altogether from your Backup plan and just use Backup Exec with Simplified Disaster Recovery to restore to different hardware, including physical to virtual restores and conversions.

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